Report: Iraq Nears Collapse
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2007 7:12 AM CDT
US soldiers inspect the scene following a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, May 14, 2007. Three civilians were killed and two others injured when a car bomb detonated in a parking lot. (AP Photo/Hadi...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The Iraqi government is becoming impotent and irrelevant as the country stumbles toward fragmentation and collapse, a new report by a British think tank concludes. The matter-of-fact name, "Accepting Realities in Iraq," belies the grim verdict that large areas are under the control of local factions rather than any government entity, and Al-Qaeda is gaining traction.

"There is not 'a' civil war in Iraq, but many civil wars," the report says. It advocates dramatic change in the US and UK approach to Iraq, including involving its neighbors in strategizing. Iran announced today that American and Iranian diplomats will hold their third meeting on the subject on May 28, but mutual distrust makes meaningful progress unlikely.